An additional 2000 visa places are to be available sc491 and sc494 visa applicants (Eligible persons and Holders of Skilled Work Visa (subclass 491 and 494)) Order 2019.

It is clear that regional migration is the government’s way forward with the skilled migration program. The direct permanent residency pathway sc189 is being reduced at the same time regional skilled migration is increasing.

There are three main problems with this government policy: 1) regional areas cannot provide the skilled employment and consistent wage levels required for new migrants to settle in Australia, 2) the government is not able to ‘engineer’ a need for skills in regional areas, the basic principles of free market are that people will take opportunities that arise if such demand is required, increasing supply of skilled services does not increase demand, and 3) Australia is still well short of skilled innovative and educated people, particularly in specialist IT fields; reducing direct PR 189 places is counter productive to Australia’s growth as a “clever country”.